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The 44th USAR National Doubles Championships were, once again, held on the beautiful campus of Arizona State University at their modern student recreation center in Tempe, AZ on February 9-13. All 14 courts have full glass back walls with bleacher viewing on the 7 courts downstairs and chairs set up for the upstairs courts. The students at ASU are fortunate to have a recreation center with everything you could want to exercise or play.

With highs in the 70's and lows in the 40's Tempe is a great place for a tournament this time of year, especially for those players coming from the frigid weather of the north. There are also a lot of sightseeing opportunities in the local area and beyond includin2011 USAR NATIONAL DOUBLESg the Grand Canyon and Sedona just a few hours away.

This years tournament had 352 participants in 54 divisions including Men's and Women's USA team Qualifying and Open, skill level and skill + age, mixed and mixed +age, and the new Centurion divisions added this year. For players to enter the Centurion division the combined age of the two players must equal at least 100. Centurion divisions were offered in Men's Open, A, and Mixed Open.

Playing in the tournament this year from NC were Steve Dayvault, Mildred Gwinn, Laura Patterson, Ed Remen, Lynn Stephens, and Vickey Utter. Bringing home Gold medals were Steve in the Men's 55+ with former NC player Charlie Hauser, and Laura Patterson in the Women's 50+A/55+A division with her partner Melody Gorno from Michigan. Former NC player and my mixed doubles partner Mimi Greene won the Women's A with partner Sarah Houghtailing form Hawaii. Congratulations to all the current and former NC players that brought home Gold this year.

If you love to play doubles, like I do, this is a great racquetball vacation, and it's not as expensive as a lot of national events. We have a group that rents a very nice 4 bedroom house only 3 miles from the club for less than the price of a hotel. Southwest has direct flights in and out of Phoenix and the airport is only 10 minutes from the campus. There's tons of local restaurants with great food to sample, and being a college town, there's lots of nightlife. There truly is something for everyone in the Phoenix/Tempe area.


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